Transformative works acknowledge the source. They are made as an act of commentary on the source itself, or they use the source material to make a commentary about a 3rd thing.
That the editor at Hollywood Reporter even tried to suggest that what LeBeouf did with Daniel Clowes's comic might be a transformative work? Shame on him.
Then a more low-key, new-agey one from the great pianist George Winston:
- Current Mood: happy
- Current Music:"Carol of the Bells" by George Winston
author reality shows. Or bidding for a literary agent. Or trying to auction your story idea on eBay for millions of dollars. Or the tale of the "literary agent" who faked her own death and turned out to be a wanted criminal.
So here's another snippet of weirdness for y'all. Introducing Quill Shift Literary Agency ("Re-imagining the role of the literary agency by creating an environment that finds and promotes great writers, invites readers to participate, and intrigues publishing houses to purchase those writers' works").
Founded by Ayanna Coleman, who claims publishing experience but provides no specifics (though she appears at one point to have worked for Serendipity Literary Agency), the premise of Quill Shift is a bizarre mashup of crowdsourcing (represented mss. are posted on the agency's website for "shifters" to read and judge), crowdfunding ("shifters" can "donate money to see it become a physical book"), and purported market testing (if a ms. achieves its financial goal "showing that the market will support it", it's then submitted to publishers).
Quill Shift is also raising money for itself, via an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign ("Where Harry Potter Magic Meets American Idol Power"). Funding will be used for...
Creation of online community for readers to connect and support Quill Shift Literary Agency author worksAll, need I say, completely irrelevant to the process of marketing books to publishers.
Updating and/or creating the chosen authors' personal websites
Cover design for each chosen manuscript to be uploaded on the Quill Shift Literary Agency Website
Professional ePub formatting for each chosen manuscript
Social media marketing and outreach
Where to even start with this? A bunch of random people reading manuscript excerpts online and maybe donating money a) isn't an "online community," and b) doesn't demonstrate market support. I seriously doubt that publishers will be impressed. Nor is this a workable concept in the long term, unless you're constantly refreshing your pool of readers. How many times will the same readers want to throw money at manuscript excerpts?
Also, crowdfunding your business is not a business plan. Assuming your campaign is successful, there's not a lot of risk to you, since you're going to be playing with Other People's Money, but if things don't work out it will be bad news for your guinea pigs--sorry, I mean your clients. And what if your campaign isn't successful? What's your Plan B? Do you even have one?
There's also a potential conflict of interest here. Quill Shift clients' manuscripts are also crowdfunded, with readers viewing excerpts and donating to a month-long "pre-publication platform and buzz creation" campaign. According to Quill Shift's FAQ, proceeds are split 50/50 between author and agency. Since this is money in hand--as opposed to the uncertainties of publisher submission--how tempting will it be for the agency to extend "buzz creation," rather than promptly sending out the manuscript? Of course, that pre-supposes that readers will actually donate, which I think is by no means a foregone conclusion.
And what about the unfortunate authors whose "buzz creation" campaign doesn't reach its goal? After all the excitement of getting "the offer," do they get kicked to the curb?
I don't doubt that Quill Shift's founder is well-intentioned. But she's clearly inhabiting that strange alternate reality that drives so many people on the fringes of publishing to try and re-invent the wheel. Sure, there are problems in the publishing biz, but a crowdsourced crowdfunded literary agency is not a solution. It's a hamster wheel for writers.
Quill Shift's IndieGoGo campaign goal is $15,000. Amazingly, people are donating--$2,356 so far, with 17 days to go. Since, unlike Kickstarter, IndieGoGo campaigns get their money whether the campaigns are successful or not, donors will be on the hook for this crazy scheme no matter what.
How are you? Are you getting ready to spring on us in all your winter glory in a couple of weeks? Sorry about not having the party this year. I'm just not able to stay up as late as I used to be, and I appreciate being able to go to sleep, and greet you in the morning when I'm a little more awake.
So, this year, I'm gonna set some goals. And they might not be the usual goals, but some of them are past due. Like...you know all those ratty dish towels I have? The scummy trash can, the junk in the garage, the dusty collections of DVDs, and stuff like that? I'm going to have a modest goal of trying to sort out one or two of these things during each month of 2014. Like...I've already bought new silverware, because I'm tired of only having 5 mismatched forks. Next, I should sort out the old silverware and get it off to a donation sight. Stuff like that.
I know, I know. It sounds like a goal that I've borrowed from Oprah magazine. But really, life's too short to be using junk when you're almost 50, and I'm just tired of clutter and hidden dirt.
It looks like I am going to finish this year lighter than last year. Who knew? For whatever reason, be it thyroid meds, paying more attention to what I'm eating, getting more exercise, meditating, being happier, relaxing more, I am dropping weight. It would suit me to finish the year in the 205-210 zone. But more important for you, 2014, is that I keep doing it. Given the rate that I am losing weight, if I continue the trend of losing about 4-5 pounds a month, that means that by this time next year, I'll be around 48-60 pounds lighter, and that would mean I'd be 150-160. That would be almost my goal weight. So, let's see how that works out, okay? It would be nice to move toward retirement with health at the forefront.
I know you can't help me with the agent search. Many years I've secretly hoped that the next year would be the year I break through. I'm treading the right kind of water. I'm doing the work and sending things out, but 2013 seems to have hit me hard with two factors regarding writing: 1. The arbitrary nature of the luck involved and 2. I got nothing to prove to anyone except myself, and I've proven that. If I want to keep working on improving my anxiety and stress, I gotta take it off myself. So, 2014, here's what we're going to do. I'm going to write stories that please me. I'm going to send them out. I'm not going anywhere beyond that because the future is not yet written. I intend to keep writing what interests me and what I write. Same as usual, except without the hidden internal stress-driven agenda. And I will write every day. The Jim Hines (TM) way. Like working out a lot, writing every day will be good for my psyche. I think I will focus on only 10 hours a week to begin next year. If I want more, I know how to make that happen.
2014, it should come as no surprise to you that I intend to keep the love of my life. I am so happy here, and I want you to help me make him happy. So, if you could make sure good things come his way, so it is easy for him, I would appreciate that.
The most important thing in 2014 is my health. Of course, we've talked about weight loss, but the stress and how it affects me is what I want to work through most. So, most of all, I want you to help me cultivate the word "No." I want to cut back to have more time to relax and be myself. Since work is ramping up, I will have to say no to some of the extra activities I do. My priorities are clear: my job, which will remain at work; the love of my life, because he improves the quality of my life; and finally, my art, because that's how I want to spend my spare time. I don't intend to not see friends or become a hermit, but I do intend to take better care of my self and my own desires.
I think we'll have a good year, because frankly, there have been some changes. Some things that seemed awfully important before no longer do, and vice versa. I'm tired of words like "hungry" and "career driven." I'm interested in words like balance, happiness, self-satisfaction, and peace. So I suspect I will lose some hungry artist friends and pick up some that are perhaps motivated in different ways. I'm down.
I'll be seeing you, January 2nd. Let me know if there's anything you need before you get here.
Mirrored from Writer Tamago.
Yukon Cornelius and Bumble surveyed the carnage. Icicles of blood littered the field. Blackened pine trees still smoldered, turned to brittle black skeletons by elfin flamethrowers.
The calves had all survived, but two adult reindeer and an elf lay dead. Bumble let out a howl of dismay. Cornelius patted the abominable snowman’s fur-matted, thick-muscled arm. Bumble had grown fond of Santa’s herd over the years, and they had adopted him like a big, not-too-bright brother.
“It’s ugly all right,” said Cornelius. “Doesn’t look like the snowman had any strategy beyond smashing whatever he could find.”
Mrs. Claus’ stern voice buzzed from the speakers in Cornelius’ yellow earmuffs. “Can you track him?”
A microphone braided into his moustache carried his answer back to the Pole. “Of course I can track him. I’m Yukon Cornelius! You just make sure Jack Frost holds his breath a little longer so he doesn’t bury the trail. The last thing we want is a blizzard covering Frosty’s tracks.”
Frosty hadn’t gotten away unscathed this time. According to the reports, the flames had thinned his armor and set fire to his broom. The snowman had been forced to flee, belly-sledding away at speeds neither elf nor reindeer could match.
As Cornelius walked, he checked to make sure his silver and gold-inlaid revolver was fully loaded. He had grown up in the northern wilderness, and had faced everything from angry yeti to rabid reindeer. These days, his beard and moustache were more gray than red, and he wasn’t quite as quick to pick a fight, but he was still twice the hunter and tracker of any man within five hundred miles.
Bumble sniffed the air. His lips peeled back in what would have been a fearsome snarl, if Hermie the elf hadn’t pulled his teeth all those years ago. The flat, too-white dentures just weren’t the same.
Cornelius dropped to one knee and jabbed a finger into the ice-crusted snow. It tasted of pine, blood, and soot. Relatively fresh. They couldn’t be more than an hour behind. “Don’t you worry. We’ll find this snowman and be home in time for dinner!”
“Just find him,” Mrs. C said sternly. “Do not engage.”
“Understood.” He pulled his pick axe and shifted his belt, making sure the revolver was in easy reach. The point of that axe could punch through stone. It would crack Frosty’s frozen armor like a nutcracker through a chestnut. He might not be planning on a fight, but he’d be a fool not to prepare for one.
A second set of tracks intercepted Frosty’s trail. Cornelius jabbed his axe into a human-sized footprint, then licked the tip. The tracks were fresh, and from the residue, they weren’t local. Elf-made boots had their own sugar-sweet aftertaste. These tracks tasted like old rubber.
He touched his moustache. “Frosty’s not the only one wandering our woods.”
A less alert man would have missed the sharpening of Mrs. Claus’ words. “His master?”
“Won’t know that until I find them. Yukon Cornelius doesn’t make assumptions.”
The tracks did follow the same path as Frosty. In several places, the human prints indented the smooth slide of Frosty’s path, meaning the human had followed behind the snowman.
Bumble grabbed the top of Cornelius’ head, and turned him gently to the right. Unfortunately, the beast’s oversized fingers also prevented Cornelius from seeing what Bumble was trying to show him.
“I can’t see through your hairy mittens, you big oaf!” He pried the hand free and looked around.
The pine trees here were thin and undecorated, unlike the woods closer to the Pole. A short distance ahead was an icy crater, lightly dusted with snow. It looked like an enormous ice cream scoop had gouged the ground. In the fading sunlight, Cornelius could make out something sparkling in the center.
He readied gun and axe and moved closer, checking the trees to either side for movement. “Looks like a bomb went off here.”
The tracks continued on, passing the crater a ways to the side. It didn’t look like they had stopped. On a hunch, Cornelius approached the edge of the crater and jabbed his axe into the snow. He circled slowly, squinting and tasting. He had gone halfway around when his tongue confirmed what the snow had hidden – the human had been here. Three, maybe four days back.
“It’s some kind of ornament,” he said. “Crystal, maybe. Busted all to pieces now.”
“Don’t touch it. I’m sending Rudolph and a pair of elf researchers your way. Can you tell what the ornament used to look like?”
Something in Mrs. Claus’ tone made Cornelius’ moustache itch. Bumble’s hackles raised, and his eyes spun to and fro, searching the shadows.
“I’d say a star. Or maybe a snowflake.”
“Get back to the North Pole now.”
He spun, gun raised. “There’s nobody here, Mrs. C. Just me and Bumble. And we still don’t know where Frosty—”
The snow exploded as if the snowman’s name had summoned him up from an icy hell. He was larger than Cornelius remembered. Without missing a beat, Cornelius put two bullets through the center of Frosty’s head. “Found him!”
Frosty roared and leaped, broomstick raised like Death’s scythe, but Bumble tackled him from the side. They fell into the snow, rolling like cats. Bumble was all claws and fury and angry growls, a regular Bumble rumble.
Cornelius charged in. “Get out of the way, you overgrown hairball!”
Snow swirled to his left. So focused on trying to line up a shot that wouldn’t hurt his friend, Cornelius ignored the movement a second too long. By the time he spotted the figure stepping out of the snow as if through a curtain, it was too late.
“Clever girl,” he whispered.
“Cornelius, what is it?” shouted Mrs. Claus.
He spun, throwing his axe and raising his pistol, but his limbs had already begun to slow. Cold seeped into his bones.
He saw Bumble jump to his feet and start toward him. Frosty clubbed Bumble’s knee with his broomstick. With an angry howl, Bumble seized Frosty by the head and hurled him through the air at one of the pine trees. The pine tree broke with a crack like bone, and Frosty went down.
Bumble charged to Cornelius’ aid. Blood matted his fur, and one of his ridiculously huge eyes spun in circles, a sure sign of concussion in bumbles.
“I’m not afraid of you, beast.” The woman’s words grated like death itself. Ice flew toward Bumble’s face, sharp as shards of broken glass.
Bumble howled again, but he kept coming. However painful his physical injuries, his grief and determination were stronger. Bumbles were loyal to the end, though it was unusual for a Bumble to show such loyalty to humans and reindeer and elves. As long as Cornelius was alive, Bumble would fight to the last breath to save him.
What had an old prospector ever done to deserve that kind of friendship?
As his strength ebbed and his hands stiffened, Cornelius forced his wrist to bend, until he was peering down the barrel of his own pistol. “Get out of here, you dumb Bumble!”
With Bumble’s anguished cries echoing through the woods, Yukon Cornelius forced his frozen finger down on the trigger.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
nice things being said about my Supernatural novels
Money quote, on Heart of the Dragon:
The premise is simple, yet beautiful in its simplicity: what if there was a hunt that stretched across all 3 generations of hunters? From grandpa Campbell, to John, to Sam & Dean. Even better, it’s only a tangent to the wider myth arc. Meaning that this challenge they face has little to do with Lucifer or Micheal, it’s really just a monster of the week stretched out over generations. It ends up working really well and makes you wish we could see more threads connecting the lines of ancestors and decedents that are woven not because of some plot by heaven or hell, but just because of who these people are and what they do. Is it perfect? No, I would have love to seen more from John’s segment of the adventure, but even novels have time limits. Regardless, for being brilliant in its simplicity, and for leaving us wanting more, this SPN novel rightfully earns it’s #1 pick of the Kripke era.
- Current Mood: pleased
- Current Music:"Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" by Bob McNally
So I duly laid in suppplies of string when we moved here - and meh, not so much, really. He played in a desultory fashion for a while, and hasn't been seen at bedtime for months now. As I say, I thought he'd grown bored.
Not so! It was the quality of my string that disappointed!
Last week we fetched home a Christmas tree, that was all bound up with string. A length of which has made its way into the house, and - oh, joy! String!
He is so enamoured, he will play by himself, without mortal hand at the other end to tug it. So that's all right.
In more Barry-related news, my closet is snoring.
*(It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the paws beneath.)
Gryphon Precinct is a book!
From the back cover:
"A fascinating excursion in genre-bending; worth a try even for readers who usually take either their procedurals or their fantasies unadulterated."
"Dungeons and Dragnet... As a take-off of the standard crime drama, Dragon Precinct succeeds nicely. Dressed in sword-and-sorcery trappings, the clichés of the genre are given a fresh twist."
—The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society Authors and Editors
Humans and elves, dwarves and gnomes, wizards and warriors all live and do business in the thriving, overcrowded port city of Cliff's End, to say nothing of the tourists and travelers who arrive by land and sea, passing through the metropolis on matters of business or pleasure—or on quests. The hard-working, under-appreciated officers of the Cliff's End Castle Guard work day and night to maintain law and order as best they can.
Cliff's End is rocked by the death of Lord Albin. As soon as the funeral ends, Albin's son Blayk takes over and starts instituting wholesale changes in how the Cliff's End Castle Guard is run: enforced retirements of older guards (including Captain Osric), surprise promotions (including Grovis to replace Osric as Captain of the Guard), sword requalifications for all guards, and much more.
Worse, Blayk has split up Lieutenants Torin ban Wyvald and Danthres Tresyllione and given them new partners. Lieutenant Dru, still devastated by the loss of Lieutenant Hawk, also has a new partner. All three detectives catch separate cases, but the more they investigate, the more they realize that all three are related—and connected to a conspiracy that targets the King and Queen themselves!
An all-new adventure of the Cliff's End Castle Guard!
"Unicorn Precinct is a fantastical, funny twist on the traditional murder mystery, with many likable characters and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting."
To order any of the previous books in the series -- Dragon Precinct, Unicorn Precinct, Goblin Precinct, and/or Tales from Dragon Precinct -- check out the ordering links at DeCandido.net.
- Current Mood: happy
- Current Music:"Riu Riu Chiu" by the Waverly Consort
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Visionary"
Odo figures out who sabotaged the replicator and the wall junction and feels the need to explain to Sisko his entire process for acquiring the information. When Sisko asks why Odo didn’t just cut to the chase, Odo says, “Well, sometimes I have to remind you just how good I am.” At another point, he provides Sisko with a list of people he's going to investigate, with Quark on the list. Sisko is surprised at this, as this doesn't seem like something Quark would be involved in, at which point Odo says, in as close to a “duh!” tone as Rene Auberjonois is ever likely to use, that he always investigates Quark...
- Current Mood: geeky
- Current Music:"Carol of the Bells" by Canadian Brass
It's 568, and you're living in Torcello. Bad news for you. The Lombards are coming out of Germany to take over your island. What do you do? You decide it's a good idea to abscond to the local swamp and live on sticks.
That's right. The founding of Venice was the action of refugees who moved away from invasion. Essentially, the matter of building the city was along the lines of St. Petersburg's building: when something sinks, build on top of it. Eventually, it will stop sinking.
What makes Venice a unique city is that Venice has incorporated so much water into the actual design of the town. Rather than fight the water flow, they have used it to their advantage for such things as water conservation and sewage control. Canals are drained in Venice so that gunk and other unmentionables can be scooped out of them and taken away on barges. The beautiful waters of Venice are a bit murky underneath.
In my research about Venice, I have glossed over a great deal of the early material, because the section that I wanted to study was that of the 19th century. There are a couple of things that you need to know about the city. First of all, Venice and the rest of Italy were a series of city states, not unified, and that would make them particularly susceptible to attack from other European cities. Secondly, in spite of this, Venice was an aggressive, rich trading city, always on the attack, gaining artifacts and and protecting its own port with a strong navy. Venice was in the position of the conqueror for a great deal of the Renaissance.
The system of government was built largely around the economy and the nobility. Some families were better than others, but if you were successful, you could buy your way into the noble families. At the head of the ruling body into which these families had input was a doge, elected and/or appointed, depending on your viewpoint, through a series of arcane and unusual rules.
Venice continued along in this vein until roughly the 16th century.
Mind you, there's a lot I'm not covering. Venice has serious Byzantine influence, trade with the east, the sheltering of a Pope during a time of turmoil in the Catholic church, many wars with many traders, and an entire soap opera with the reputed remains of St. Mark. But that's not the time frame of Venice I needed to know about, so I didn't go too deep.
However, next time, we'll talk about Napoleon and the Austrians, and the unification of Italy.
Mirrored from Writer Tamago.
“It’s that old silk hat they found.” The glass orbs hooked to Mrs. Claus’ belt clinked softly as she paced the perimeter of the map room. Each colored orb held a different mixture of magic and modern explosives. Right now, she wanted nothing more than to jam them into Frosty’s snowballs and blow him to flurries. She knew each elf at the Pole by name. They were family, every one. But there would be time to mourn Kane and the others once this crisis was over. “We knew the hat was magic. We never asked where that magic came from.”
“He’s made of Christmas snow.” Hermie the elf looked at the snow-dusted map of the North Pole, a living sculpture of frosted crystal. Frosty had struck three times over the course of the day, testing the outer defenses. “Doesn’t that mean he can never be destroyed? Santa said so himself.”
“Christmas snow is magical, yes,” said Mrs. Claus. She knew that deep down, despite everything he had been through, Hermie the elf still thought of himself as a misfit. But he was tougher than most people gave him credit for. Any dentist who could pull the teeth from an Abominable Snowman was a dentist to be reckoned with. He wore a dagger made of an Abominable Snowman fang through his sash. “But something—someone—used the power of that hat to shape the snow into what we always believed to be a jolly, happy soul.”
The map room was traditionally used for planning out Santa’s Christmas route each year. It could foretell the weather five days in advance, and used a form of supernatural radar based on tiny particles of ice in the atmosphere to track even the most sophisticated stealth aircraft. No one wanted to risk another Roswell incident.
“What about Jack Frost?” Emma was a relatively young elf who had transferred from Cookie Dept. into R&D a mere ten years earlier. She and Hermie had been smitten with each other for months, but they were taking things slowly, which was the elfin way.
“Jack is strong enough, but what does he gain by attacking the Pole?” Mrs. Claus shook her head. “Despite that awful Tim Allen movie, Jack and Santa have always been allies. Santa was best man at his wedding.”
“Krampus?” suggested Hermie.
The demonic anti-Santa who kidnapped naughty children certainly had reason to attack the North Pole, but he lacked subtlety. The Awgwas, perhaps? But they had been dormant for decades. Mrs. Claus pulled the radio from her pocket and called Galleta in the Vault. “What’s the last known location of Professor Hinkle?”
The would-be magician had once tried to steal Frosty’s hat, and had temporarily succeeded in melting the snowman, until Santa arrived to restore Frosty. Santa had shown mercy to the nasally professor, but mortals had been known to mistake mercy for weakness. If Hinkle’s defeat had festered all these years—
“He’s working a Disney cruise,” said Galleta. “I show him on the nice list, though he’s borderline. Looks like he cheated on his boyfriend earlier this year.”
“What about his rabbit?” asked Hermie. “Hocus Pocus was a friend of Frosty. He might know—”
“Hocus Pocus died two years ago,” Mrs. Claus said gently. Elves understood the ephemeral nature of childhood, but tended to forget how short the lives of mortals were. “He was fourteen years old, which is elderly for a rabbit.” She stared at the map, trying to uncover any hint of a pattern, any clue to suggest where Frosty would strike next.
Galleta’s voice cracked over the radio, half an octave higher than usual. “Vixen has eyes on the snowman! He’s in the woods to the east!”
Hermie zoomed the map in on that location. “That’s close to the flight school.”
The reindeer calves would be in the midst of their training. “All available forces to the flight school.”
“What if that’s what he wants?” asked Hermie. “Frosty could be trying to draw us away from the Pole.”
He was right, dammit. “Belay that. Send teams three and four. Tell the reindeer to hold back. I want them circling the whole perimeter.” To Galleta, she said, “Track down everyone Frosty’s been close to, and put them under guard. Especially Karen.” The girl had been Frosty’s closest friend when he first came to life. When people erupted into this kind violence, they often targeted those closest to them.
More than anything, Mrs. Claus wanted to arm herself with shield and flamethrower, and to ride Blitzen into battle to protect her home. But with Santa in post-Christmas hibernation, it was up to her to remain here to coordinate the defense.
Had Frosty and his master timed this assault deliberately, knowing Santa would be vulnerable in the weeks following Christmas? That the North Pole would be protected not by Saint Nicholas himself, but his wife?
If so, they were about to find out how serious a mistake they had made.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
So the boy is not better. Still throwing up as much today as a week ago. Took him to the doc again today. The upshot is head scratching and a referral to a gastro specialist, plus some bloodwork. He was taken off the Zantac since it’s having no effect. He’s been prescribed anti-nausea medicine. I’m hoping we’ll get into the gastro specialist sooner rather than later. The doc also mentioned that scoping him might be a good idea. He doesn’t think it’s an ulcer or gastritis. Maybe the bloodwork will show an infection. I would sure like to get him well. He’s missing so much school.
We did put up the tree today, and my parents arrived. We’re happy about those things. Tomorrow is girlie’s school concert. That will be fun. I still have tons of holiday preparations to make. One of these days I’ll get on that. Sigh.
And then one by Bel Canto Choir Vilnius in the original Ukrainian:
- Current Mood: happy
- Current Music:"Shchedryk (Carol of the Bells)" by Bel Canto Choir Vilnius
However there was one amusing moment this evening. It being too cold/icy to go for a walk, I decided to make use of the seven flights of stairs in my building (practically everyone uses the elevator, so why not make use of the available space?). As I was coming to the ground floor, my super's wife - a lovely woman of limited English - was standing by the door, and went to open it for me.
"No," said I, waving her off, "I'm just doing stair sprints."
She...was very clearly wearing her "these young American women, sweet but all crazy" expression.
Also, I have fallen far from my days of being able to do stair sprints and not die. That is all.
Aaaaand, I slept like crap.
Author’s note: I’m writing this as I go. Which is nerve-wracking, because it’s totally not my normal process.
I’m hoping to have the whole thing finished and posted by Christmas, but I can’t make any promises…
The first to know anything was wrong was a sentry elf named Kane. How differently the war might have turned out had she sounded the alarm a little sooner. But she recognized the lumbering shape of the living snowman as a friend to Santa and the North Pole, and thought nothing of his presence that winter morning.
By the time she saw the rage burning in his coal eyes and the armor of enchanted ice that covered his snowy body, it was too late.
But Kane was a veteran of the war with the Snow Queen, and had served at the Pole for close to two centuries. She darted forward, avoiding the first swing of the snowman’s broom. He was powerful, but slow and clumsy by elf standards. She rolled past, and by the time he recovered, she had drawn her own weapon, a blade of ice with a candy cane handle. But what use was a frozen blade against a living snowman?
She parried once, twice — by the Star, he was strong — and then the broom dropped low. Kane took advantage of the opening, driving her sword into the crack where the bottom and middle spheres of the snowman’s body joined.
Booming laughter chilled her elfin blood as the snowman bent forward, trapping the blade in place. The broom swept her feet from beneath her.
Kane looked up at the snowman who used to dance and play with the children of the world. “Why?”
He didn’t answer. The last thing Kane heard was the thumpity, thump, thump of Frosty’s broomstick.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
- Sun, 13:16: How the amazing Wholock video was done. Equally amazing! https://t.co/cqzUHyJO3z
- Sun, 15:36: Today's project http://t.co/0Yi3zen0hW
- Sun, 17:46: I will not engage the #entitledwhiteperson who is trying to equate indentured servitude with American slavery.
- Sun, 17:53: RT @Twoflower: DC cancelling popular shows because they draw an unexpectedly female fan following. Short-sighted stupidity ahoy. http://t.…
- Mon, 00:39: Ho ho productivity! http://t.co/sNPcEm80UU
- Mon, 11:44: RT @qikipedia: One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. MARGARET MEAD (19…
Just as the riddles-in-the-dark bit with Gollum was the heart of An Unexpected Journey, the heart of The Desolation of Smaug was the similar conversation between Bilbo and Smaug in Erebor. (The fact that it was Sherlock Holmes and John Watson talking just made it more fun.) It was fun to see Orlando Bloom back in the saddle, as it were, and Evangeline Lilly kept up nicely with him. Stephen Fry was superb as the head of Laketown, and Lee Pace just owned the movie as the elf king.
Having said that, the movie was still too long. Peter Jackson is proving himself to be the master of making a movie longer than it really really needs to be, an issue he's had since he took King Kong, a movie that dragged heavily in spots and barely was able to fill 100 minutes, and added an hour and a half of running time to it. In this particular case -- as magnificent as Ian McKellan and Sylvester McCoy and Manu Bennett all are -- all the stuff with Gandalf and Radegast and Azok was wasteful filler.
Also got some work done on the mystery today, though mostly it was noodling and realizing what's wrong with what I've written so far. Tomorrow is the rewatch and a visit from a friend, and I'm also helping teach at the dojo all week, but I will fix this thing.....................
- Current Mood: happy
- Current Music:"Eyes on the Prize" by Bruce Springsteen
It’s coming up on Christmas. Are you getting gifts for people? If so, let me suggest my books. If you can’t find them (the Crosspointe are temporarily hard to come by), just email me and I’ll sell them to you and sign them and send them. Any of my books, really. Or you can get them at most fine book establishments. So introduce your friends to my books. Introduce your family. Introduce total strangers!
For emailing me, you can go to my contact link and just send me an email and we’ll set it up.
I should be quite glad, therefore, if some wise soul - Sod, I believe, is his name - would explain to me just how it is that I cannot find the one book that today I most desire.
(To be fair, it's not easily categorisable, which is why I have looked in any of the several places it might have been set. And all the other places as well. I am back to scanning every single bloody shelf, and still can't find it.)
Still: the takeaway from this (as we Americans say) is not that I am an incompetent shelver, though that may be the case. It is that, for someone with as little self-confidence as I have, I am become positively cavalier in my charcuterie. Can't find the recipe you're looking for? Pfft on recipes! Scatter with a liberal hand!
I have rubbed my belly pork with basic dry cure, folded it around crushed garlic and bay leaves and peppercorns, and it will make yummy bacon. Sans receipt. (The good news buried here is that I did indeed find my peppercorns. After searching the kitchen three times, more thoroughly even than I have searched my bookshelves. It felt like becoming one of those days, but I stymied it.)
Also, I have cured my first ham this morning. Well, it's actually a shoulder, because pork leg on the bone is almost as hard to find in this peculiar land as belly pork. If it works, though, I shall be spectacularly happy. Because I can't find gammon at all, nor uncooked hams.
Now I shall set a dish of olives before m'wife, and our day will be complete. At lunchtime, yet...
Reports surfacing that Peter O'Toole has died, at age 81.
Magnificent in so many roles, but for me he will forever be Alan Swann, of My Favorite Year.
I will be in mourning for the rest of forever.
So instead of that, I'm doing!
1) Spa day for my face!
2) Hand vacc'd the stairs
3) Scrubbed the sink.
4) Spot botting some ground in dirt areas. (I wet vacuumed the high traffic areas of downstairs yesterday) Yes, this will make some "crop circles" but I'd prefer that to the alternative.
5) Dressed to the shoes
Still to do --
7) Tart stuff!
8) Vacuum the upstairs.
Soon = Jan 7, 2014
Fascinating thread. Very informative.
We have all been sick this week. Well, except the man. But the boy has had it worse and it doesn’t seem to be clearing up. I took him to the doctor earlier in the week, but nothing seems to have changed. I’m a little worried. He isn’t throwing up nonstop, but more like every few hours. But he’s throwing up as much now as he was last Monday. I guess if he’s not better next week, I’ll be taking him back. I hope they can get this figured out. I put a heating pad on his stomach and it seems to help some
We made progress in the house today. Cleared a spot for the tree, carried furniture upstairs and downstairs. I am hopeful that we will have the house somewhat put together by the time my parents get here on Monday. Yeah, right. We did, however, get our tree. We will get it put up tomorrow. Girlie is determined. I have some snowbaby decorations I haven’t seen in maybe 15 or 20 years. Nice to be able to get out some of this stuff. They painted the house in significantly neutral colors. They are fine, but I’d like something much more colorful. But the ceilings are high and I really don’t want to take on more jobs. So that will have to wait. A long time I’m afraid.
We went to a little Christmas tree farm to cut down the tree with a friend. It was a fun trip and part of the sales are donated to the Wounded Warriors. Let’s hope it smells lovely. It’s a fir, and sometimes those aren’t as fragrant.
My head is killing me. This is part of the illness of the week I think. Hopefully it goes away soon. I hate headaches.
I've excluded the books currently residing on my e-reader because those get read on a weirdly random but regular basis, as opposed to the must-be-at-home-curled-up physical books, and not counting anything that no longer fits my reading tastes. As follows, in no particular order.
DARK MATTER, Peter Straub
LOWTOWN, Daniel Polansky
CARNIVAL FOR THE DEAD, David Hewson
INK, Amanda Sun
PRECIOUS DRAGON, Liz Williams
THUNDER ROAD, Chadwick Ginther
CONJURED, Sarah Beth Durst
CHINA MOUNTAIN ZHAN, Maureen McHugh (no I don't know how I never got around to reading this either, shut up no shaming allowed here)
WHO FEARS DEATH, Nnedi Okorafor
DARK OF THE MOON, John Sandford
STAMPING BUTTERFLIES, Jon Courtney Grimwood
THE GLASS RAINBOW, James Lee Burke
CITY OF CAIN, Kate Wilhelm
EIFELHEIM, Michael Flynn
THE SILENT LAND, Graham Joyce
ENCHANTED, Alethea Kontis
LIBRIOMANCER, Jim Hines
THE GOD OF THE HIVE, Laurie King
That's...not too bad, right? I can do that, even though I read fewer than 20 books (published, not-in-mss-form) novels in 2013?
And I'm not going to promise not to buy any new books until I finish, either. I know myself far too well for that....
He. Put. His. Paw. In. My. Coffee.
- Fri, 20:55: IT'S HOBBIT TIME!.!
- Fri, 22:56: RT @robdelaney: If your response to calls for gun control is “Should we get rid of cars too?” the answer is, for you, yes. You should not h…
- Fri, 23:34: Traffic is criminally insane tonight
- Fri, 23:45: Been to the movie theater twice in the past few weeks. Parking lots have been empty both times. Sad.
- Sat, 00:14: Hobbithobbithobbithobbit #hobbit HOBBIT!
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Prophet Motive"
Think about this for a second. These aliens barely even know what corporeal life is. Their interactions with linear time prior to this have been sending out Orbs that can tie into someone’s own mind and past and future, but that’s a far cry from specifically rewiring a corporeal being’s entire identity. And it’s not at all clear what the aliens gain from this mental rape of a person (and that’s what we’re talking about here, because no matter how much of a comic relief figure Zek is, he was still psychologically raped), nor why they thought it was a good idea. The aliens will, in the future, do other things that are pretty ethically dodgy to say the least, but all those other things will, to some degree, fall into the purview of what is believed possible by them.
This? Not so much. And it proves both anti-climactic and really really creepy all at the same time.
- Current Mood: geeky
- Current Music:"The Gower Wassail" from The Christmas Revels